There used to be a product called Celastic, a stiff, resin-impregnated cloth manufactured in Germany. Torn into strips and soaked in acetone, Celastic softened and could be molded to any desired shape, after which it dried to a wood-like consistency ideal for commedia masks. Unfortunately, just as I was catching my stride, Celastic was pulled from the shelves – too many toxins involved, as I recall – and my mask-making career was cut short as the result. I tried another product called Formfast for a while, but working with it was like working with boiled fettucini and I never was able to achieve satisfying results. So I gave up masking entirely. Only four masks remain to remind me of how much I enjoyed molding the clay forms and popping the dried masks away afterward (and, yes, inhaling the acetone fumes). Three of the masks – an evil one, a lewd one and a sad one – are shown here.
Update: I just googled Celastic and it seems that the ban has been lifted. Now all I need is a scene shop and I’m good to go.